Study the science behind behavior! This challenging major will give you the knowledge and skills you’ll need to make important contributions in a fascinating field that is growing rapidly in size and significance
Put your mind to work on the brain
This powerful program cuts across academic disciplines to give you a deep understanding of the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. In small classes, you’ll work side-by-side with outstanding faculty, exploring the subtleties and complexities of the brain, the most complex machine in the universe. You’ll study biology, psychology and chemistry. You’ll investigate the development of the brain and learn how it remembers things, manages stress, and recognizes tastes, smells and other sensory information. You’ll find an engaging new home in Parmer Hall, the campus’s newest building, with 16 labs and state-of-the-art scientific equipment. This major is outstanding preparation for a career in medicine, research, counseling and many other fields. You can focus your studies directly on your professional goals by choosing one of two academic tracks within the neuroscience major:
- Behavioral Neuroscience focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior, and examines the neural mechanisms of memory, emotion and mental illness.
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience focuses on the biological aspects of neural function and development, and is ideal for students interested in medical school
Due to overlap in course content, it is not possible to combine the behavioral neuroscience track with a psychology major or minor. Similarly, it is also not possible to combine the cellular and molecular neuroscience track with a biology major or minor. Other than these two restrictions, the neuroscience track can be combined with any other major or minor.
Amazing opportunities—on campus and beyond
Practical, hands-on experience is built into the neuroscience curriculum. Our year-long lab sequence immerses you in experimental research. Our students get frequent opportunities to present their work—not only on campus but also at the Chicago chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and elsewhere in the wider scientific community. You can combine academic study with compassionate service to people in need, or immerse yourself in a different society and culture through our study abroad programs. You’ll have your choice of programs on four continents.
Undergraduate research is a trademark of Dominican and a passion among our neuroscience majors. You won’t have to wait until graduate school to work side-by-side with a faculty scholar. You might even qualify for grant funding to support your original work. Our annual research expo in April will give you a chance to practice your presentation skills and show your stuff.
“I’ve been able to make amazing connections in the Dominican community and with researchers and professionals throughout the Chicago area. The faculty are so helpful to me. Dominican has become my second home.”
Prepare for a life of meaning and achievement
This major sets you up for success in a variety of professions. Some students pursue advanced degrees in the health sciences. Others apply their multilayered knowledge of the brain toward further study and satisfying careers in the mental health field. Still others become neuroscience researchers in academic or industrial settings. This is a flexible, demanding and extremely valuable program. The curriculum prepares you for lifelong intellectual and professional competence. Our graduates are thoughtful, open to new ideas, proficient in the lab, and able to adapt and thrive through long and meaningful careers. They have earned their way into leadership positions in the professions of their choice.
Jeewanjot “Jolly” Grewal
“Through Dominican, I’ve shadowed physicians at Rush University Medical Center and Lurie Children’s Hospital. I’ve conducted research at Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, and presented a paper with one of my professors at national and international conferences.”